walkhighlands

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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

One down 282 to go!!

One down 282 to go!!


Postby luckyguy68 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:45 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 23/12/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 825m

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This is my first posting guys so bear with me. :lol: Since taking to the hills in Sept this year my primary goal has been to build on general fitness while getting to see the Scotland i had only seen in pictures. My choice for my first Munro was based on two facts, one Chonzie was the nearest to home and two it was graded as a three booter. Over the last few months i have tapped into WH for info the in's and out's of this wonderful sport. I have also taken time to choose the right kit mainly from user reviews and advice from the outdoor shops. Anyway, i had a few floating days to use before Christmas and having a browse of the MWIS website today seemmed like a reasonable day weatherwise. Not sure about the 60% chance of cloud free Munros. It was certainly seeable from the start of the walk :lol:
2011-12-23 10.08.37.jpg
All seems thumbs up from the start

2011-12-23 11.09.19.jpg
Looking back down Loch Turret

I choose the Loch Turret route as all the reviews i read described it as the more appealing to the eye. First mistake of the day( And may i add i generally learn from them all :lol: ) was to leave at 1030 thinking i would be up and down in jig time. I had not taken snow into the equation. Never as much as stept on the stuff on a hill. Boy was it to be a steep learning Curve :lol: I choose the lesser gradient route below thinking i was a wise guy :?
2011-12-23 11.32.04.jpg
Looked easy enough from where i was standing.

I got the fright of my life two steps onto the snow when my left leg dissapeared into the white stuff right up to almost my waist :shock: :shock: Im sure the seasoned campaigners will be having a laugh as i guess this is a common occurance??. I retraced my steps giving the snow a bitta respect as i tried to keep to the few green areas around (mostly of which were streams). Got me wondering about should the unthinkable happen that if im up to my neck in the stuff would i get a signal on my mobile? :lol:
2011-12-23 12.52.16.jpg
More compacted the higher i went (obviously)

It was fairly easy on the ascent once the snow compacted. Not really sure at what stage i should be buying crampons and compatible boots. I guess its when there is more snow than greenery?. My stay at the summit was short and sweet as now know whats seen at the bottom of a hill is a damn sight different at the top. My water was frozen in my my bottle and my gloves had went that stiff way. A tell tale sign to hoppit :lol:
2011-12-23 13.45.52.jpg
Looked warmer than it was!!

2011-12-23 13.00.53.jpg
A few unknown hills to me(for the time being)

The descent was a bitta fun. I contemplated turning my backpack into a sledge but thought against it as i only bought it this week. :lol:
2011-12-23 12.55.11.jpg
Heading hame

There was a wee bit of scrambling on the way down. It was as slippy as hell so i tackled it super slow as im on the mend from a knee ligament injusry. Im not really sure where my time went to. Maybe it was the 125 photos i took and changing my layers about a dozen times :lol:.
It was pitch dark half an hour from the finish so it was time to testdrive my head torch. I felt a bit of a dork but it really did do as i had hoped it would.
Well thats the first one out the way :D I am knackered as i write but i fair enjoyed myself. I think i choose a good Munro to get me up and running. Really need to start going out with other folks though just to stay safe in this weather. I'd be interested to hear some thoughts, funny or otherwise on what to do if god forgive, im up to my neck in snow and when's the right time to wear crampons. :D
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby mrssanta » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:02 am

well done for getting out there! your pictures are great
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby iainwatson » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:32 am

great report! well done on doing your first munro at this time of year with the snow :thumbup:

great pictures too!

if your looking to get out with others you could use the meeting up and arranging trips section,there's a great buch of people on here who are keen on meeting up and sharing walks
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby rockhopper » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:04 am

Congratulations on your first winter munro - you'll certainly see the difference compared to summer :D

Re your crampons question. You'll probably find different people have different views and I think there are a few threads on WH if you do a search. Personally I wouldn't tend to use them for deep, soft snow; more for icy conditions. If you're going to do more winter walking you'd also be best to look at getting an ice axe before or at the same time as the crampons. The latter may give you grip but the former means you can stop yourself if you slip or fall down a slope and you can use it to test the depth of snow as you go. There's loads more information in various threads on this site so best to have a look and think about what you want to do. Take it bit by bit and learn as you go - iain makes a good point on getting out with others as you could also learn from them. Whatever you do, hope you keep enjoying it - cheers
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby Huck Finn » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:19 pm

:D Well done on getting first one done, good report and really good photos
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby Del246 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:49 pm

Welcome and well done on your first.
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby quoman » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:49 pm

Hi Luckyguy68
Well done on your first munro nice report and yes you will fall up to your plumbs when not expecting it :lol: :lol: .
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby Malckyb » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:45 pm

Good report...nice wee hill to get the bug with!! :)
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:27 pm

Well done on your first munro :D

And well done for getting a view from Ben Chonzie- very few (including myself) have managed that!!!!

PS I should warn you that you will become addicted to the hills :lol: :lol:
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby Bod » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:06 pm

Well done luckyguy68, great to see you out and about on the mountains. Enjoyed our PM's a few weeks back and good to see you now venturing further a field. I know exactly what you mean about your start time on a day-out, the benefits of leaving an hour earlier are very significant, but that can be easier said than done. Maybe we'll get together next year? All the best! :D
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby 2dalmatians » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:42 pm

Congratulations on getting that first one under your belt! Won't take much more now to catch the bug!
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby rocket-ron » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:49 pm

Well done on your first munro. We all have to start some where :D
It will soon take over your life :D :lol: :D
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:59 pm

Nice 1st TR,there is no cure for the disease you have now caught,all you can do now is carry on.
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby spiderwebb » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:24 pm

Well done, you'll look back on this first one with a big smile given the pics you had a good day.

As has been said, the crampons are essentially for when the snow is hard and the boots make little or no impression in it and at its worst as ice. I had the unpleasant experience on Aonach Beag a few years back in April. Right near the top, the snowfields having no doubt thawed and refrozen were pretty much as ice and my summer boots made no impression (although I did have an ice axe). Winter ones being stiffer tend to be able to make a slice/step, but crampons would have made it a stroll. Its only when your halfway across something like this you realise when looking back the severity of a slip ! It was even worse trying to come down the stuff. And it wasn't steep.

As for the deep stuff, it happens ! My report of last March in the Fannichs was clear lesson in time, although the MWIS report was out by a good 5 hrs that day which didn't help, but worse case speed, not to mention the strength sapping of walking through deep snow, means a speed of about 1 mph for me anyway. But you'd need to be pretty unlucky to be reduced to that pace all day and you'd realise early on having plodded for a couple of hours in it and having made 2 miles that its best to turn round ! Keep an eye on the avalnche forecasts as well unless you understand snow conditions from sight.

Bot none of this will stop you now you've got the bug and as has been said keep an eye out on the meeting up pages, plenty of opportunities there as I've found out having been out with others on several occasions with another lined up for next Tuesday !! :D :D
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Re: One down 282 to go!!

Postby clivegrif » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Good man! Brave time of year to start the marathon, but it looked like a decent day. That hill is a bit of a snow trap and I ended up wading through knee deep snow in May to get to the top.

As others have said, I use crampons when I have to, when the snow or ice is hard and offering no grip to boots. They really come into their own on slopes, when you really would not want to lose your footing.

As for sliding down, yes good fun, but easier just to sit on your rear end and go for it - but make sure you can see the end of the slope where it runs out. However, not to be recommended if you are wearing brand new lightweight goretex overtrousers - you may end up with a hole where you wouldn't want one....

Good luck with the rest. :D
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